SYRACUSE — “Today we moved the birds in,” said Joan Harden, agriscience teacher at Wawasee High School, referring to the new poultry facility on the high school campus. An open house was held Friday afternoon, Nov. 17, for the facility, located near the career and technical education building.
Harden noted the process began about a year and a half ago when a student in a veterinary science class asked “Can we get chickens?” After checking in to it, Harden noted the thought mushroomed and eventually became a facility to house both laying chickens and broilers. There is also a fenced in area that will be used as a horticulture area for growing things such as fruit trees and more.
Students in FFA and animal science classes will use the poultry facility. They will care for the chickens as they are being raised, will sell their eggs and meat and will be assigned research projects in their coursework that will allow them to explore nutrition, egg quality, carcass quality, genetics, animal behavior and other topics relevant to agriculture.
Students will not only get to participate in hands-on learning, but were also used to make the facility become a reality. Architecture students drew the plans and Geometry in Construction students built the facility.
Chore-Time Brock and Miller Poultry are partners in the project. CTB donated cages, nesting boxes and feeders and Miller Poultry supplied the livestock fans to keep the coop comfortable in the summer heat. Miller Poultry is also mentoring the students and providing access to its nutritionists, veterinarians and other staff to help the students learn how to raise healthy chickens.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held with representatives from CTB, Miller Poultry, Wawasee FFA and others present. Tours of the building were given.